Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum, regularly conducts business with a Yerushalayim-area taxi service that does not hire Arab drivers, Army Radio said on Monday.
The taxi service, Hapisgah Taxis, provides museum employees rides to and from work as part of transport benefits for its workers. The museum denied knowledge of the discrimination, which would violate Israeli law.
Investigative reporters for the radio station alleged that when a man with a thick Arab accent phoned the service to ask about a job as a driver, he was promptly refused. Others with noticeable Arab accents received similar treatment.
The taxi company’s official policy states that it employs only “army veterans.”
When an Army Radio reporter asked one of the managers at the taxi service about hiring practices, he said: “We only hire people who served in the army. We don’t hire Arabs, only Jews.”
In response, Yad Vashem told the station: “We didn’t know that Hapisgah Taxis doesn’t hire Arabs as policy, and we didn’t inquire as to who the drivers were when the company was chosen in a tender.”
“The tender we had issued was also open to taxi stations owned by Arabs,” Yad Vashem management told Army Radio. “There wasn’t any precondition that we placed regarding the identity of cab drivers. Hapisgah Taxis gave the best offer, and the company did not mention its policy of not hiring Arabs in any of the documents that it submitted to the Yad Vashem tender committee.”